ANU PF president Emmerson Mnangagwa further side-lined former defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi Friday after dropping him from the party’s politburo.
The once-powerful ruling party politician was also left out of the new cabinet Mnangagwa appointed after taking over from former president Robert Mugabe who resigned after the military took over power last month.
Sekeramayi, whose name was thrust into the vicious Zanu PF succession struggle by former higher education minister Jonathan Moyo in June this year had served the ruling party’s administrative organ for almost 40 years.
Moyo, a leading figure in Zanu PF’s G40 faction that was vanquished by the November military intervention had made stark comparisons between Mnangagwa and Sekeramayi, arguing the latter was more senior and more “suited to be successor” to Mugabe.
The remarks gave the impression that Mugabe, seen as the power behind G40, wanted Sekeramayi as successor instead of Mnangagwa.
“The notion peddled by the so-called Team Lacoste that its leader (Mnangagwa) is the only one who is above or senior to everyone else below President Mugabe is false and that falsehood should stop. There are others that are senior to the leader of the so-called Team Lacoste,” Moyo said.
“One of them, by way of an important example, is Dr Sydney Sekeramayi whose loyalty to President Mugabe, the party and country; whose liberation credentials, experience, consensus-style of leadership, stature, commitment to the nationalist project and humility have no match.
“So there are others. In fact, I must add that even (former) Vice-President (Phelekezela) Mphoko is senior to the leader of the so-called Team Lacoste.” But with G40 stumped in the succession fight and its key drivers now in exile, Mnangagwa might have targeted the group’s available top member for ultimate humiliation.
In his politburo pick, Mnangagwa appointed Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary general Victor Matemadanda to Sekeramayi’s former position as secretary in charge of the former fighters. Mnangagwa did not even mention Sekeramayi in his party reshuffle with the former defence minister sitting ashen faced while celebrations went on around him.
And as if to pile it on, Mnangagwa quipped:
“For the position of secretary for science and technology which was held by Professor Moyo, I am appointing his friend Christopher Mutsvangwa”.
SOURCE: New Zimbabwe